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University Hosts East Central Europe Officials

The weather put a damper on the East-Central Europe Conference at Missouri State University today but officials from several countries had already arrived in Springfield. KSMU's Missy Shelton spoke with two of them and files this report.

But the international speakers for the conference arrived in Springfield ahead of the storm and two of them came by KSMU to introduce themselves. First, the Deputy Minister of Education for Bulgaria.

Dr. Dobreva says she wants to convey to Americans the importance of her country joining the European Union in January.

She did get to share some information about her country with Missouri State University students on Thursday.

The conference lasted on a few hours Thursday morning before weather forced the university to close and remain closed today.

One of the areas of focus for the conference was building a market economy in East Central Europe.

That's an area of expertise for the former Vice President and Minister of Defense for Macedonia Nikola Kljusev...He's now head of the Center for Strategic Research at the Macedonia Academy of Science and Art.

He says he wants Americans to know that Macedonia is working on economic development, attracting foreign investment.

This is not the first visit to America for Nikola Klujusev, who says he's even passed through Springfield on a previous trip to the states.

He says his son lives in America.

Both of the East European officials say they encourage people from Southwest Missourians to visit their countries and learn more about their cultures.